CDC: Travelers from Ebola-impacted nations will be monitored for 21 days

posted at 4:31 pm on October 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The CDC and the Obama administration has finally decided to put in place some safeguards on travelers from western Africa, although they still fall short of the travel ban backed by most Americans. On Monday, Allahpundit noted that the White House has now directed the FAA and airlines to route all travelers from Ebola-impacted nations to five airports, which isn’t all that much of a change from what usually takes place anyway. The CDC followed suit today by ordering 21-day monitoring for all of those travelers, whether they pass a temperature screen or not:

The new measures, to be rolled out in six states starting Monday, Oct. 27, are aimed at catching anyone who might enter the country before they start showing symptoms. “Someone infected with Ebola may not show symptoms for up to 21 days,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters. “These new measures I am announcing today will give additional new safety.”

All 50 states are expected to implement the system eventually, and it’ll be up to the states to enforce it, Frieden said. The states with the most travelers from the region — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia –will lead the way.

Travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be asked for email addresses, phone numbers and street addresses, as well as similar contacts for a friend or relative to make sure no one slips through the cracks, Frieden said. “We are recommending that temperatures are taken twice a day and reported once a day,” Frieden said.

This common-sense but incremental move may still have some people wondering why it took the CDC so long to implement it. The first case of Ebola brought into the country by a traveler from western Africa became acute more than a month ago. Since then, thanks to the initial errors at the Dallas hospital that allowed Thomas Duncan to go home and the inability of the CDC to impose a competent containment scheme, hundreds of other Americans have had to be monitored for potential transmission, and two schools closed briefly. During that time, the CDC has insisted that the temperature screen alone would be sufficient, when it (a) didn’t catch the first case anyway and (b) the incubation of the virus made it obvious that it wouldn’t prevent other such transmissions.

So now we have the Obama administration retreating, at least a little bit, but not as far as a travel ban. The problem with this approach is that it’s still voluntary. One assumes the CDC will follow the cases to ensure that the monitoring takes place, but they don’t appear to want to order anyone into quarantine — and how many subjects will they have to audit? If it’s just a few dozen it might work, but the more travelers who come in from these countries, the more stretched those resources will get. And who’s to say that even regular calls to those being monitored will result in truthful reporting anyway? Until they get sick, there doesn’t appear to be much incentive for honesty about abiding by the testing regime here, or for self-imposed isolation either.

The head of the hospital in Texas tells CNN that their regime didn’t work very well either. As it turns out, not only did Thomas Duncan tell the emergency room nurse that he’d traveled to Africa, she wrote it in his records — but never asked which country, and the doctor apparently assumed that he’d had no contact with sick people … or he lied about it:

The hospital system that owns Texas Health Presbyterian said it “fell short” several times in treating Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, starting by not asking the right questions in the ER. When the Liberian native came in with a fever, the nurse wrote down he “came from Africa” but didn’t specify which nation. A physician wrote that Duncan was a “local resident,” with “no contact with sick people. No symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.”

Duncan had contact with a pregnant woman who died of Ebola before coming to the US. Either he didn’t bother to mention it and no one asked the question, or the doctor did ask and Duncan lied about it. Either way, it shows the limits of self-reporting until it becomes too late for effective containment. The CDC is moving in the right direction but has not reached the complete destination.


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Comments

All political to save the Dems…

PatriotRider on October 22, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Monitored.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

BobMbx on October 22, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Lazaretto.

Akzed on October 22, 2014 at 4:36 PM

The CDC is moving in the right direction but has not reached the complete destination.

Wait, when did they put Kathleen Sebelius in charge of the CDC?

fogw on October 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM

21 day quarantine. If you don’t like that, stay over there.

rbj on October 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be asked for email addresses, phone numbers and street addresses, as well as similar contacts for a friend or relative to make sure no one slips through the cracks, Frieden said. “We are recommending that temperatures are taken twice a day and reported once a day,” Frieden said.

And if they refuse?????????????????????????????? Or give fake info, then disappear into the population?

This is nothing. NOTHING. Whoever supports this is naive, and must believe that everyone is a good guy and will look out for everyone else.

What bullshit.

BobMbx on October 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM

I feel safer already.

Oil Can on October 22, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Uhh, the only people that are spied upon and constantly monitored in the United States of America are her citizens. Greencard and visa holders, not to mention illegals, are obviously *not* monitored since that would be racist.

ramesees on October 22, 2014 at 4:43 PM

And if they refuse?????????????????????????????? Or give fake info, then disappear into the population?

This is nothing. NOTHING. Whoever supports this is naive, and must believe that everyone is a good guy and will look out for everyone else.

What bullshit.

BobMbx on October 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM

It’s like the questions they require airline agents to ask at the counter about people packing their bags and so forth. Like a terrorist would answer truthfully.

Bitter Clinger on October 22, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Texas hospital exec: We fell short.

Alternate headline..

Duncan from Liberia went long.

Electrongod on October 22, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Nonsense.

First of all, 21 days covers 95% of cases. Another 3% show up 22-42 days, and in 2% the date of infection cannot be determined.

Why monitor? Just don’t let them in the US until 42 days after their last passport stamp in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea. Much cheaper and much safer.

Adjoran on October 22, 2014 at 4:47 PM

No West African Obola Patient left behind.

Oil Can on October 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Like a terrorist would answer truthfully.

Bitter Clinger on October 22, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Well, if a terrorist shows up at the counter with a bomb in his bag, which he packed, and hasn’t let out his sight, he would be answering truthfully.

(They don’t ask you if have a bomb in your bag)

BobMbx on October 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM

And that should apply to anyone who has visited those countries, not just those holding their passports.

Adjoran on October 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM

One assumes the CDC will follow the cases to ensure that the monitoring takes place

Why would you assume that, after the last two weeks of lies?? This is theater, to calm the rubes!

PattyJ on October 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Ballpark on how much of our tax payer dollars it will take to monitor and contact each of these people every day for 21 days? And if they don’t have thermometers..does our tax payer dollars supply that? (I know, I know, it’s really the Fed printing the money but our dollars decrease in value. So that’s a tax in and of itself).

Yeah, but just instituting a travel ban wouldn’t be feasible.

chuckfinlay on October 22, 2014 at 4:53 PM

How about banning them till the epidemic calms down?
Whose tax money will be used to monitor them?

George

weedisgood on October 22, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Gawd, what part of we told you so does Frieden and obummer not understand? You couldn’t act more rapidly and decisively?????

jake49 on October 22, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Noah Rothman retweeted
Cory Doctorow [email protected] 3h3 hours ago

Snappy coroner’s answers to stupid cross-examiner’s questions http://boingboing.net/?p=339874

Bmore on October 22, 2014 at 4:57 PM

It’s like the questions they require airline agents to ask at the counter about people packing their bags and so forth. Like a terrorist would answer truthfully.

Bitter Clinger on October 22, 2014 at 4:44 PM

About a year ago, an airline agent at the gate asked me if anyone has put anything in my bag, has it been in my sight at all times, etc.
I replied that the TSA agent back at the security line had it all to himself for about 10 minutes while they gave me the “random” search in that little room. She just smiled. They don’t care, and neither will these agents taking temperatures from 10 feet away.

leftamark on October 22, 2014 at 4:58 PM

If it’s just a few dozen it might work, but the more travelers who come in from these countries, the more stretched those resources will get. And who’s to say that even regular calls to those being monitored will result in truthful reporting anyway?

I believe it gets worse than this… because in addition to the newly arrived travelers from those countries being monitored, we almost need to monitor all those who they come in contact with during the 21 day period.

If any of those travelers have / develop Ebola, then we need to start monitoring those they interacted with. Just the one infected person, flying between Dallas and Cleveland necessitated identifying and monitoring hundreds of other passengers to see if they were infected.

And as the arrogant NBC Chief Medical Correspondent demonstrated, voluntary quarantines don’t work all that well if someone doesn’t think or doesn’t care or is willing to lie about their actions.

Athos on October 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I meant to say
George Bush is even better than Obama.

weedisgood on October 22, 2014 at 5:04 PM

CDC: Travelers from Ebola-impacted nations will be monitored for 21 days

Sooooooooooo…..

CDC is going to watch Ebola infect our citizens???

This seems more like a revival of the Hitler regime’s human medical experiments than a protective action by our government. Are they going to collect names of all contacts and stick pins in a map as the infection spreads for the amusement of government elites?

If CDC can’t bring itself to use effective measures like quarantine against a deadly and highly communicable disease, why do we have this agency? Aren’t they even going to restrict the suspect travelers from working in food preparation and distribution? Can we use the CDC budget somewhere else where it will actually be of some use to US citizens?

landlines on October 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

It’s a good thing the USA with its bloated, inept, obscenely expensive, politically correct government, is at long last learning how to stop Ebola …. from the Nigerians.

marybel on October 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

I meant to say
George Bush is even better than Obama.

weedisgood on October 22, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Proof that marijuana can cause hallucinations.

BobMbx on October 22, 2014 at 5:11 PM

If CDC can’t bring itself to use effective measures like quarantine against a deadly and highly communicable disease, why do we have this agency? Aren’t they even going to restrict the suspect travelers from working in food preparation and distribution? Can we use the CDC budget somewhere else where it will actually be of some use to US citizens?

landlines on October 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

I know, its a real outrage and its the kind of thing that creates a pitch fork mob…I really would not be surprised to see hundreds of people armed to the teeth outside the CDC and Whitehouse if the epidemic spreads here…they would have asked for it too and few would actually root for the mob to fail if that time ever comes and I pray it never does…in fact, its my sincerest hope that we can laugh about any fear we may have had about this one day..but its just whistling through the graveyard when you look at whats happening in Africa…they are living in a real honest to goodness nightmare over there.

Alinsky on October 22, 2014 at 5:22 PM

I knew it wouldn’t take long.

Insurance companies afraid of Ebola.

BobMbx on October 22, 2014 at 5:30 PM

It’s a cya thing. “We told them to monitor. Not our fault.”

Buddahpundit on October 22, 2014 at 5:46 PM

adjoran: You make too much sense.

The issuing of visas to the US from these infected countries should be discontinued until the disease is better contained.

Federal law already provides for travel bans, according to Andrew McCarthy and J. Christian Adams.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/390916/federal-law-already-provides-travel-ban-due-ebola-outbreak-andrew-c-mccarthy

We need a president who knows how to impose meaningful red lines.

onlineanalyst on October 22, 2014 at 6:06 PM

“Ebola-nation travelers to U.S. to be watched 21 days ”
–and the OBOZO dictatorship will watch them every bit as closely as they watch all their ILLEGALS !!!

MicahStone on October 22, 2014 at 6:46 PM

We been very lucky so far…..

flackcatcher on October 22, 2014 at 10:41 PM

No worries They wouldn’t lie, would they?????

Lee Jan on October 23, 2014 at 8:43 AM